Menu ideas for food for an adult birthday party

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The best menus ideas for an adult birthday party make the most out of your budget and complement the overall party style. A low-budget picnic party and a gourmet pasta menu are obviously a poor match.

You want to create a menu that works with your theme, such as a finger-food buffet for a casual celebration or a gourmet dinner for a fancy gathering. As long as you remember to ask guests about possible food allergies before the event, a great menu can help create a great party.

Finger-Food Buffet

Buffets are an easy way to provide a variety of dishes to a large crowd. However, people tend to eat more food at a buffet than they do at a served meal, so a buffet may actually end up costing more than a catered sit-down meal. A finger-food buffet allows guests to talk and mingle in a casual style as they eat.

Popular finger-foods for buffets include stuffed potato skins, chicken fingers, home fries, mini bacon quiches, cheese-stuffed jalapeño poppers, stuffed cherry tomatoes, sliced fruit, veggie sticks and a wide assortment of dipping sauces. A simple birthday cake can serve as the only dessert for the party, or you can provide additional treats. Popular buffet sweets include cookies, brownies and chocolate-covered nuts. General drink selections can include water, coffee, tea, juice and soda pop.

Gourmet Dinner

A gourmet dinner menu works well for an evening birthday party with a fancy theme. The event will need to be a catered affair for a large crowd, although an energetic host can manage a gourmet dinner for a small crowd. The main entrée can include apricot-glazed grilled salmon steaks, blue cheese and fig-stuffed chicken breasts or artichoke heart and chicken piccata.

Side dishes for a gourmet birthday meal can include prosciutto-wrapped asparagus tips, rosemary-garlic mashed potatoes, peppered feta biscuits and raspberry endive salad in white chardonnay salad dressing. In addition to a fancy birthday cake, desserts can include mini lava cakes, chilled tiramisu, whiskey pecan bread-pudding and strawberry mint sorbet. Drinks can include espresso, Italian sodas and a selection of wine.

Picnic Lunch

Take advantage of a warm summer day and throw an outdoor birthday party filled with popular picnic dishes. Entrées can include fried chicken, chicken fingers and hoagie sandwiches. If a barbecue picnic theme is preferred, you can try grilled hamburgers, grilled hot dogs, barbecue chicken and a variety of condiments.

Side dishes can include yellow-mustard potato salad, creamy egg potato salad, Italian pasta salad, garden salad, fruit salad, gelatin salad, buttermilk biscuits and corn-on-the-cob. Dessert can include cookies, brownies, cake bars, cupcakes or individual baggies of assorted candy. Drinks can include water, iced tea, lemonade and soda pop.